The Pep Rally dances are considered the highlight of Spirit Week to many; they express the themes of the individual classes, encourage cheering and excitement from the bleachers, and showcase impressive dance routines. Though students from all majors can join the Pep Rally dances, many participants shy away from joining the dance for yet another year due to an atmosphere they claim is exclusive.
“I participated in the dance sophomore year, and it was … very obviously catered towards dance majors,” an anonymous student said. “I felt unwelcome when the dance majors would take too much control of the meetings.”
The student said that though the dances were not technically advanced, they believed that “the speed of the dances, rather than the complexity” posed issues for non-dance majors.
In order to understand all perspectives surrounding this issue, it is important to recognize those who choreograph the dance and plan meetings.
“The choreographers are usually the people who step up and volunteer. A lot of the dancers like to work together to create [the routines], so they spend time together in the studio trying out all of their ideas and ultimately forming a final product,” communications junior and Class Council Cco-Ppresident Mara Vaknin said. “It is so important that everyone recognizes the amount of time and work that everyone involved in Spirit Week puts in.”
Many dance majors believe the pep rally routines should be less a show of impressive technique and more an upbeat dance full of students representing all skill levels. Dance junior Alyse Harris notes the lack of a formal audition and encourages all interested students to attend the meetings.
“As long as you can pick up the steps and have a fun time doing it, then you’re welcome to be in the dance,” Harris said. “We don’t want to make people feel dissuaded [from participating] because it is very fun and looks better with more people.”
Each grade’s Class Council is in charge of coordinating various Spirit Week events, including the recruitment and oversight of their Pep Rally dance.
“I think class council is responsible, primarily, for communication,” Vaknin said. “We always work hard to make sure the students in the dance are able to have rehearsals whenever they want, and also make sure our grade is informed so everyone that wants to can be a part of the dances.”
Though the opportunities to be involved in this year’s Spirit Week dances are over, several past participants encourage students to get involved next year as early as possible.
“Everyone should know that they are welcome; we have meetings in the beginning of the school year regarding the dance so the sooner you come and learn the dances, the better,” Harris said. “If you’re thinking of being a part of it next year, do it, [especially if] it’ll be your last year.”